Saturday, 8 March 2008
Redpoll, Red eyes
You have just finished a punishing night shift. There is a Mealy Redpoll the other side of the city. You have already seen one before. And it was this year. In York. So in no way is this going to be a tick. Do you go? Of course you do. A bloody good study in bird I.D. it was too. In fact there were 2 Mealy Redpolls present in a flock of approximately 11 birds. These two birds were marginally bigger, had pale 'shoulders', paler less streaked flanks, Pale less streaked Undertail Coverts and looked marginally different than the much earthier Lesser Redpolls they were feeding with. Initially I thought I could see braces on the birds but that may have been delerium as I was post night shift. My identification was clinched (for me anyhow) when one of the birds flitted up into a tree with a Lesser Redpoll and they both flew, the lesser showing a brownish rump and the Mealy showing a pale streaked rump. Also from behind the ealy was much wider than the lesser although this feature was less obvious when the birds were on the deck. On the deck? yup, they fed like a small group of Snowb's rolling across the leaf litter under the alder trees between the university lake and the Biology department on the York Uni campus. Other stuff kicking about included a GC Grebe on the lake and numerious plastic wildfowl. I'm now going to retire to bed, cos I is tired. Night.
How brains and birds become mutually exclusive